MIPIM 23: Look past the big numbers for the real benefit of HS2

14.03.23 4 min read by Maggie Grogan

Maggie Grogan, one of our development directors, talks to global investors as part of a panel discussion at MIPIM 2023 – ‘HS2 Connected Interchanges: the UK’s largest investment opportunity’

It’s easy to think of HS2 as a series of big and impressive numbers. Billions of pounds of investment, slashing journey times, up to 7 million trees planted, and an additional £1bn to the GDP of the West Midlands. It makes for good headlines in the national press.

More interesting though, is how the impact of HS2 plays out at a local level. This is our message to MIPIM 2023 – how should we draw down the benefit of HS2 directly into communities across our region?

In 2022, we were appointed as the development partner for Arden Cross. The project, enabled by the HS2 Interchange Station at Birmingham International, has the potential to deliver a new community as part of a comprehensive £3.2bn regeneration.

Arden Cross is one of the primary mechanisms through which the West Midlands will leverage the full benefit of HS2. The project has the potential to deliver up to 27,000 new jobs and 3,000 new homes.

The opportunity sits on the doorstep of some of the most deprived communities in the West Midlands – North Solihull, East Birmingham, and North Warwickshire. By leveraging HS2, we have the power to transform these communities for generations.

It means a quality job, better educational opportunities, improved health outcomes, and new green public spaces. The University of Warwick and University Hospitals Birmingham have already signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate opportunities at Arden Cross. It’s a potentially game-changing partnership.

Local transport investment which links communities into the HS2 network will leverage their own growth opportunities. This includes the entire West Midlands region from the Black Country to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Arden Cross is just one part of a wider growth opportunity which is supported by HS2 at the UK Central Hub. It includes partners from HS2, Department for Transport, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, and the Urban Growth Company – as well as Birmingham Airport, Jaguar Land Rover, and others.

In 2023, we'll begin to articulate a refreshed vision for Arden Cross alongside a new masterplan. We'll work in partnership with local and regional stakeholders to develop our approach. In line with our values, we're challenging ourselves to look past the headline to enable and articulate what Arden Cross will mean for ordinary people across the region.”

What it means for the way people spend their free time, how they live, how they travel, their sustainable future, and the money they have in their pocket.

HS2 is a transformational project, but its true power is in how it can transform communities. Our challenge is to look past the headline and draw down the benefit. Arden Cross is how we do it.

 

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